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Get ready to rock: Collectors get together to discuss Earth’s treasures

Sandi Hoover
shoover@nevadaappeal.com

Calling all rockhounds, rock kickers, pickers and lickers, there’s a new way to rock in Carson City.

For anyone who is into rocks, minerals, crystals, gems, field trips, collecting, geology, jewelry making, lapidary or finding precious metals, the High Desert Rockers offer it all.

When Jeanette Champagne opened her rock shop, “Rocking and Rolling” on Curry Street last fall, in the former Beauty and the Beads building, she had no idea so many closet rock lovers would show up.

“People would come in and say, ‘Hey, I’m a rockhound!’ There were so many people, that I started thinking we need a rock club here in Carson,” said Champagne, a retired geologist.

With that in mind, she and another rock lover, Kris Tengberg of Gardnerville got together to do just that. They hosted their first meeting in May, where nearly 30 people showed up, and the second meeting drew more than 40, she said.

It’s now official. The group meets the last Tuesday of each month, and people with all gem and mineral interests, from kids to old-timers, are invited to attend.

This month’s meeting will feature a presentation and demonstration on metal detecting for gold and meteorites by author, inventor and gold prospector Clay Rogers.

“So far, our group is really eclectic,” Champagne said. “We have families and we welcome kids, but we also have old-timers who are absolutely priceless.”

Tuesday’s meeting also will offer everyone a chance to bring things they would like to sell, trade or barter over, she said.

Tengberg echoed Champagne’s enthusiasm.

“We’re everyone from geologists to greenhorns, old-timers to kids,” he said. “We share a certain kind of love for the desert and appreciate her matchless beauty. We love the hunt for gems and minerals, finding the prize and sharing the story.”

Tengberg said the timing is just right for the formation of the group.

“There are lot of people who drove to Yerington or Reno to go to their clubs, so this is more accessible for people,” he said.

“We don’t have dues, so whatever the universe wants to provide will be appreciated, and this gives everyone a chance to show and share. People can bring in their collections,” he said.

“We’re hoping at the next meeting more people will come forward to help us set up and take down everything, but we plan to keep everything loose and friendly,” Tengberg said.

Another thing that will be important is to stress responsibility, that people pick up trash and try not to disrupt the areas they go to, but also to be aware of sacred sites, he said.

But mostly, the group will be for fun.

“If people want to bring in a box of rocks, or if they want to get a rock identified, that’s fine,” he said. “You can establish trust when you chat with someone around a box of rocks.”